Timberlake, Spears’ ex-boyfriend, apologised for his treatment of Spears and Janet Jackson in the wake of the release of new documentary Framing Britney Spears, saying he “failed”.
On the latest episode of SNL, Britney, played by Chloe Fineman, was given her own fake talk show as the episode’s cold open, welcoming those who needed to apologise to her.
“Hi ya’ll, it’s Britney bitch,” the sketch started. “You all know me from my upbeat Instagram videos and the word conservatorship.
“Basically I started this show, Oops, You Did It Again, so people could come on and apologise for things they’ve done wrong, because after the Free Britney documentary came out, I’m receiving hundreds of apologies a day.”
She added: “Speaking of which, I’d like to give a quick shout out to our sponsor the Notes App. Looking to post a lame apology 20 years late? Go through the motions with the Notes app.”
Timberlake’s relationship with Spears, which lasted from 1999 to 2002, has been the subject of renewed scrutiny following the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which focuses on the conservatorship she’s been under since 2008 but also explores sexist treatment of the pop star throughout her career.
The documentary revisits his public boasts that the two had slept together when they were teen stars, and his subsequent hints in the 2002 video for ‘Cry Me A River’ that she was to blame for their break-up due to infidelity.
Apologising in the wake of the film airing he said: “I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right,” Timberlake wrote.
“I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism. I specifically want to apologise to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
NME gave Framing Britney Spears a four-star review, writing: “Framing Britney Spears acknowledges that “the real Britney” is essentially unknowable at this stage: because she rarely gives interviews and has almost never spoken about her conservatorship on record, fans are left searching for coded messages in her superficially perky Instagram captions.
“And for obvious reasons, it offers no satisfying conclusion because Spears’ legal battle to rework the terms of her conservatorship is ongoing. But it’s impossible not to come away hoping that the singer’s wishes – whatever they may be – are listened to in the very near future.”